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28

I am answering this question, but I am not going to accept this answer, at least not without further research and/or experimentation and editing this answer to reflect that. I am hoping that somebody with a greater knowledge of chemistry and the nature of brining can add to or even credibly contradict the science of what I am saying here. My conclusions are ...


28

It won't do anything useful. Brining works on raw meat by denaturing some of the proteins inside the cells so they gel and hold tightly onto their water. It also gets tasty salt in. Cooked meat has already had its proteins denatured by heat. Brining will not cause the meat to hold on to any new water. Basically all it will do is wash away some of the ...


24

Soften. Other things that typically are added with salt will tend to toughen the beans, but it isn't the fault of the salt. For decades, chefs have circulated the oral tradition that adding salt hardens beans, but it's a myth. Several scientific studies verify that adding salt to the soaking water for dried beans will reduce the cooking times. The first ...


16

While reusing brine is probably fine in many cases, it's tricky from a food-safety perspective. It seems like there are lots of threads on the internet these days about reusing "pickle juice," and there are great reasons to take your brine and use it in some recipe for salads, dressings, sauces, etc. that you'll consume soon after making (or at least ...


14

It is possible to over brine meat. If you leave it in too long it will get too salty. If you use a more dilute brine it won't get as salty but you will wash out more of the natural flavor into the water as well. You could submerge your turkey in its packaging in ice water in a cooler for a day before brining. You could even thaw the turkey in this manner ...


13

Actually, it's a popular misconception that brining works because of osmosis. If it was really osmosis at work, plain water would work better than salted water. Kenji over at The Food Lab went into this a few months ago: http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/11/the-food-lab-the-truth-about-brining-turkey-thanksgiving.html Here's the relevant bit: To understand ...


11

People often marinate beef cuts like flank steak or skirt steak. Dry brining (pre-salting) beef is pretty common, such as for prepping many steaks. Wet brining is also pretty common -- corned beef is brined. Beef tongue is often pickled and brined as well.


10

Go to the beans section in J. Kenji López-Alt's chili blog post: http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/01/how-to-make-the-best-chili-ever-recipe-super-bowl.html In short: salt replaces calcium and magnesium in the beans' skins that make them tougher. The result is that when beans are soaked in salt water the skin softens at the same rate as the bean interior and ...


10

I agree with @rumtscho that you should not need to salt after brining. However, I totally disagree with the accepted answer. There are simply too many reputable sources that say otherwise, not to mention my own experience. First, please see the accepted answer to this question which is from Cook's Illustrated. Secondly, this article from Stella ...


9

I suspect that the biggest problem here is that your brine isn't anywhere close to being strong enough. Cooks Illustrated has a good guide to the entire process but in a nutshell: Sea salt is expensive and inefficient for brining; the impurities actually make it more difficult to dissolve and disperse properly. Kosher salt is generally recommended, although ...


9

I'll try to weigh on in this as much as possible with a non-authoritative answer: First of all, I simply can't state this emphatically enough: kashering is not brining! A kosher bird is not "pre-brined", and professional chefs who claim that it is are either misinforming their audiences or simply misinformed themselves. Kashering (sometimes called ...


9

In fact, although the risk is low, the Penn State Extension does recommend soaking in the refrigerator, or using the quick soak method as opposed to an overnight room temperature soak: To be on the safe side, it would be advisable to use the quick soak method: Bring water and beans to a boil, cover and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 1 ...


9

You cannot brine after cooking but you could slice the meat and place it in a jus. You see this commonly with "Italian Beef" and "French Dip" sandwiches. Take whatever drippings you have left and add supplement with beef/chicken/vegetable stock/broth/. Slice and place the meat in the jus until serving which may get you closer to the outcome you are looking ...


9

There certainly are proponents of brining beef to impact texture and flavor. In my looking across the internets, it appears that dry "brining" is more common than wet, but both are used for steaks. Whether or not the results are "spectacular" is up to you. So, I would give it a try to see if you like it. For me, I generally don't prefer the texture of ...


9

For tender meat like steak, brining is generally not needed (nor recommended). However I can see some applications where you'd want to delicately brine a thick cut of a steak by submerging the meat for a long-time in a low-concentration salt-water solution i.e. equilibrium brining Quoting directly from the Chefsteps Equilibrium Brining page: The goal ...


8

The short answer is 1-2 years for traditional pickles, assuming a good recipe with adequate salt content and fermentation time (traditionally anywhere from a month to a few months). For modern quick fermented homemade recipes, where the pickles are fermented in a week or so instead of months, I'd recommend using them up within a month or two. Some ...


7

How do you 'notice' when the brine hasn't reached certain areas? Its easy to see if the brine is working and you're possibly just overcooking - weigh the bird pre and post brine, before cooking. If it weighs more, you've got the liquid. A properly brined bird shouldn't taste like 'omg, thats salty!'. I think two things are going on here: Your ...


7

Brining and marination do two different things, contrary to popular belief. Brines allow salt (plus possibly a very few other small flavor molecules) to penetrate into meat, at a rate of about 2-2.5 CM per 24 hours. These deeply season your meat, change its texture, and help allow it to retain moisture when being cooked. Marinades are a surface treatment, ...


7

If you are going to do anything, do it when you are ready to put the pickles in the fridge again, not when canning - acid keeps the canned pickles safe. So - leave them really sour as canned. When ready to eat a jar, open, dump the brine, add water (whether or not you salt it is up to you and the salt level in the pickles - I'd try plain water) - put it in ...


6

If you cook it immediately on arriving, an hour is a safe period. Remember the chicken will take a little time to heat up. Usually 2 hours is the limit for meat at room temperature. On the other hand, there's no harm in playing it safe, with both spillage and spoilage. I'd suggest you put the brine and chicken in a zip-seal bag, then put ANOTHER bag ...


6

Hot peppers won't work with brine, as brine is water-based and capsaicin (the pepper hotness) is not soluble in water. You would need an oil-based marinade to pass the 'heat'.


6

Salt dissolves in water. Brining is simply the process of soaking something in a saline solution so that either it absorbs saltwater, or the salinity of the pre-existing water approaches equilibrium with that of the brine. The end state is just a lot of water, some on/inside the meat and some outside, all with approximately the same salinity. If you roast ...


6

Cooks Illustrated apparently sent some brined meat off to a lab for analysis: We were also interested in finding out how much sodium penetrates during the process. To answer the question, we brined natural pork chops and boneless, skinless chicken breasts in standard quick-brine solutions of 1/2 cup table salt dissolved in 2 quarts of cold water. ...


6

Good experiment but I think there is some other factors at play on top of the osmotic forces. And electrical charge is as important as molecular weight. Animal tissue is composed of cells made mainly of lipid bilayer and the cells are suspended in a matrix of connective tissue. Osmotic forces act across a cell membrane where water flows down a ...


6

When you go to cook them, defrost them by the cold, moving water method, unwrapped. Give them at least a half hour or so soaking in clear, cold water. That should take care of it.


6

According to Handbook of Food Science, Technology, and Engineering, Volume 3, edited by Yiu H. Hui, the freezing of any meats, (particularly red meats), causes cell walls to rupture the rate of rupture is inversely proportionate to the rate freezing Since household-grade freezers are of the slower sort, owing to an effort toward energy efficiency, when ...


6

Yes. To make pastrami or corned beef, one must brine the meat for about a week. Corning, brining, and pickling are all variants of the same process - curing meat in a sugar- and/or salt-water solution, regardless of whether it is in fact kosher. For pastrami, and maybe corned beef, you add nitrates to the solution. I made Pastrami once. The total ...


6

For the record, your brine was most likely fine. It's normal for lacto-ferments to get cloudy. As for replacing the brine, I would use another batch of salt-brine, and possibly toss in some fresh onions to kickstart a new round of fermentation and preserve your carrots that way. Having said that, anything you add at this point is going to change your ...


6

Typically brines are for tenderizing and penetrating flavour into the meat. The use of the brine would be to break down the tough meat Though a sous vide does tenderize mildly with the long cooking time you stated, you don't want to over cook it, hence the brine. Nor would the sous vide alone add as much flavour as the 2 week brine. The brine is more ...


5

Alton Brown was on NPR's "All Things Considered" this week. http://www.npr.org/2012/11/13/165039668/turkey-tips-from-alton-brown-dont-baste-or-stuff He said he likes to thaw the bird in the cooler for up to a week in ice brine. As the ice melts it dilutes the brine. I am trying this myself this year, but only for 3 days. Alton claims he has not seen the ...


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